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AfCFTA: Action committee to embark on a nationwide awareness tour

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The National Action Committee on African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) is to begin a nationwide sensitization tour to prepare Nigeria to take advantage of AfCFTA.

Zakari Jimeta, the Communication Coordinator of the organization, made the disclosure in a statement in Lagos.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Nigeria signed the African Continental Free Trade Agreement in Niamey on July 7, 2019, to promote intra-African trade with other African countries.

On November 11, 2020, the Federal Executive Council endorsed it, demonstrating that Nigeria is on course to participate in trading under AfCFTA.

Jimeta said that the tour would kick-off from Kaduna State with a courtesy call on Gov. Nasir El-Rufai.

He said the courtesy call would be followed by meetings with public and private sector stakeholders, including trade and professional associations, in the state.

He added that the team would proceed from Kaduna State to Bauchi State, adding that visits to other states would follow.

The Secretary of the National Action Committee on AfCFTA, Francis Anatogu, said in the statement that the mandate of the National Action Committee was to coordinate activities of private and public sectors at federal and sub-national levels.

Anatogu said that the committee’s strategy was to work with states based on their areas of comparative advantages and priorities as a way of building up the national export trade and creating jobs at the grassroots.

“The core objective of the AfCFTA is to create a single market for goods, services, and free movement of persons in order to deepen economic integration on the African continent.

“The AfCFTA is expected to deliver an integrated continental market of 1.27 billion consumers with an aggregate gross domestic product of USD3.4 trillion.

“Nigeria constitutes a significant portion of these figures largely spread across our states,” he said.

Anatogu noted that trading under the AfCFTA began on Jan. 1, 2021.

“In this regard, the National Action Committee on AfCFTA is working with relevant agencies to establish structures and processes to implement the rules of origin and other arrangements to enable businesses to commence trading under AfCFTA terms.

“With the nationwide sensitization, the committee is taking the message of AfCFTA to states and grassroots levels where the bulk of Nigeria’s wealth, both natural resources and human talent and economic activities, are domiciled.

“The nationwide awareness and sensitization exercise is set to cover all the 36 states and the FCT,” Anatogu said.

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